Don’t consent to search of your car or person


Police need to have a good reason to search your car or your person.  If the police have a valid search warrant then they are allowed to search the areas that are specified in the warrant.  However, in most searches of cars and people, police don’t have a warrant because they don’t have time to get a warrant. 

If the police search a person or car without a warrant, they need a legally recognized reason to search.  If the police don’t have a legitimate reason to search, then the court may end up suppressing the evidence that was found. 

The most important thing that a suspected person can do is not to consent to any search.  A lot of people will consent to a search of their person or car because they believe they have no other choice.  What is even more astounding is that many people will consent to the search knowing that there are illegal materials in the car or on their person.

Once a person gives consent, it helps the police greatly.  When a person consents to being searched, the police no longer need a legitimate reason to search.  The police are allowed to search because the person has consented.   The police do not need to warn the suspect that he has the right to refuse to be searched.  The lesson is never consent to a search.  If the police find evidence so be it.  Don’t take away your own rights by consenting to the search and taking away your opportunity to force the police to justify their warrantless search. 

For More Information Please visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Defaults lead to bail


The holidays are time for family.  The last thing you want to do is to spend your holiday in jail.  One of the most important factors in determining if the judge will set a bail on you is how often you default.  The purpose of bail is to encourage a person to show up in court.  Therefore, if you have a lot of defaults or fail to show up to court when you are supposed to, it is more likely that you will be held on bail. 

Just because you have a warrant on a case doesn’t mean that the judge will automatically set bail.  As not all warrants are created equal or viewed in the same way.  There are two types of warrants on cases.  First, there are default warrants.  A default is entered when a person fails to show up to court when they have notice of court date.  When a person defaults the court will send out a default warrant. 

The second type of warrant is known as a straight warrant.  In the situation of a straight warrant, the defendant has not gotten notice of the court date.  This usually happens because the court was unable to reach the defendant with a letter regarding his or her court date.  

Most if not all judges view straight warrants in a more favorable way than default warrants.  It really makes sense if you think about the differences.  The court assumes that you didn’t know your court date when it issues a straight warrant and assumes you did get notice when it issues a default warrant. 

Essentially, the court views that it is your fault for defaulting on a case and that will increase the likelihood of bail being set.  Verses in the situation where you have a straight warrant, the court assumes you didn’t know therefore it isn’t your fault for not showing up.  In the situation of a straight warrant, the court is less likely to place a bail on you just because you have a warrant. 

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Don’t turn yourself in


You get a letter in the mail; it states that you won free Red Sox tickets.  The letter gives you a place, date and time to redeem your tickets.  You show up and you are arrested because of an outstanding warrant.  You learn a very important lesson, don’t turn yourself in.  If you have an active warrant, a lucky day of winning tickets can get you into handcuffs.

Law enforcement has gotten better at tracking down people with warrants over the years.  If a person has an active warrant, the police are allowed to arrest the person when the see them.  During raids, car stops and searches police will look to see if a person has an active warrant that would require the person to be arrested.

In recent years, many police stations have decided to make their lives easier by getting people with warrants to turn themselves in.  The police departments will usually come up with a fake contest telling the person with the warrant to redeem their prize at a certain location.  When the person with the warrant shows up to redeem their prize, they are taking into custody. 

It is amazing the amount of people the police end up taking into custody through these fake contests.  If you have an active warrant and get a letter in the mail about winning a contest it is important not to try to redeem the prize.  If you do follow the instructions of the contests, the only prize you’ll get is a night in a jail cell.  

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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What can happen if I skip jury duty?


There are very few things that this great country requires a citizen to do. All males must sign up for the draft at the age of 18, people must pay taxes if they are working and everyone is required to serve on a jury. There are very few exceptions to the rule. People who are above a certain age are able to stop going to jury duty, but for the most part you are required to go. It doesn’t matter what you do for work because even judges are required to go to jury duty. As most of people already know, jurors are selected randomly through a computer system. Selected jurors get notified by mail and can be sent to any court that is within the county of the person’s residence.

If for some reason you can’t serve on the day that is given, you usually defer to another date. If you don’t attend jury duty, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. A person who doesn’t attend jury duty can be fined up to $2,000. When a person is charged the court will usually send a summons to the person’s last known address. If the person doesn’t show up on the date that they were summoned, then the judge could put a warrant for the person’s arrest. Through this process, a person that has never been in trouble with the law before, can be arrested and brought to court.

What usually happens with these types of cases is that the court will have the person sign up for jury duty and hold over the criminal case. After the person performs jury duty, the charges are usually dismissed. However, the best thing to do is to make sure that you go to jury duty or get the court to allow you move the date. The last thing you want to happen is to be arrested for not going to jury duty.

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Attorney-Jason-Chan/101494423854?ref=sgm Massachusetts General Laws regarding jury duty http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-234-toc.htm

Mass Juror Service Website https://juryduty.majury.gov/ojcweb/public/start.aspx

Boston Globe Article about courts cracking down on people who skipped jury duty http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/10/05/massachusetts_cracks_down_on_jury_duty_shirkers/?page=1

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Bench warrants-Effects, removing one and taking care of it before you get arrested


 There are many reasons why you may have a bench warrant out for your arrest. The most common reason is that you failed to show up in court for a scheduled hearing. The court can also issue a warrant for other reasons, for example, failing to pay a court fine. If a bench warrant is issued, it poses several issues for you.

First, if you are ever stopped by police, you can be arrested. After you are arrested, you will usually be brought into court the next day. Unfortunately, if you are arrested on a Friday night, the earliest you will be brought into court is the following Monday.

There are also other potential issues about having a warrant on your record. The registry may suspend your license, or not allow you to renew your license until the warrant is cleared. The registry can do this right away or years later. Either way, the warrant is going to catch up sooner or later.

For the most part, in order to remove a warrant, you must show up to court. When you fail to appear in court, the court enters a default on the case and issues a warrant for your arrest. Essentially, the case needs to be taken out of default and then the judge needs to lift the warrant.

When removing a default the judge could detain you. One of the factors the judge considers is if you are a flight risk. Depending on what the excuse for failing to appear in court is, the court may decide to hold you in custody. Therefore, it is always smart to have an attorney with you when removing a warrant.

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For More information about this post, here are some interesting websites: Outstanding warrant?

Protect yourself against being jailed for traffic stop… http://www.masscriminaldefense.com/warrant.htm

Attorney that removes warrants in Miami FL http://www.defendyourcase.com/Areas_Of_Practice/Bench_Warrants.aspx

How to get rid of bench warrant http://ezinearticles.com/?How-To-Get-Rid-Of-A-Bench-Warrant&id=1070221

CA attorneys that deal with warrants http://www.shouselaw.com/bench-warrants.html

San Diego and LA California warrant attorney http://www.hoffmanlawoffice.com/PracticeAreas/RemovingWarrants.asp

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Facing criminal charges, court is tomorrow, what to do


The court process is a long and stressful process for most.  Some of the reasons why the process is difficult are that the system is slow, there are few explanations and the rules and procedures are cumbersome and confusing.  So here are a few tips to keep in mind to make the criminal justice system a little more bearable. 

  1. Keep all your paperwork.  Don’t throw anything out or be careless with any documents that are given to you.  The court and district attorney will usually give you information that is important for your case.  So make sure you keep all the documents that you are given and bring them to your attorney. 
  2. Dress to impress.  This one sounds silly I know, but there are so many people that go to court in sweatshirts, baggy clothes, revealing shirts and other horrific attire that this is worth mentioning.  First impressions are important and the first thing that a judge or DA will notice is your clothing.  Dress like you would if you were going to a very important interview. One judge I know won’t call your case until your shirt is tucked in.  So be smart, dress well and it will win you points. 
  3. Be on time.  This one sounds simple, but if you don’t get to court when your case is called you can be defaulted.  If a default enters it usually comes with a warrant out for your arrest.  People who show up late usually can get the default removed, but also will have to wait until all the other cases are called.  Depending on the court you should be prepared to wait a long time.  Don’t bother with the excuse of bad weather, problems in getting a ride or anything else.  If the judge is there, he expects you to be there. 
  4. No cell phones or talking.  Most courts won’t allow cell phones anymore, so leave them in your car or at home.  Many courts don’t even have a place to keep your stuff while you are at the court, so just don’t bring your phone.  Also be quiet in the court room.  I know you may be pretty bored waiting for your case to be called, but an annoyed or angry judge is bad news. 
  5. Be respectful.  Look, I know you don’t want to be in court, who does?  However, you need to keep your cool and keep your head on straight.  Don’t argue with the DA or judge, don’t swear and don’t make faces.  The last thing you want to happen is for the judge to hold you for contempt. 
  6. Hire an attorney.  The process is stressful and there are many pitfalls.  The stakes are high, the penalties are serious and the case may affect the rest of your life.  Be smart hire a professional and remember these tips. 
  7. Finally, this shouldn’t even be a tip, but I have seen this happen so I will cover this point.  DON’T BRING WEAPONS AND DRUGS TO COURT WITH YOU!  Yes I have seen cases in which people are charged for bringing weapons and drugs to court.  They were searched after the metal detector was set off and then weapons and drugs were found on the person.  You would think it would be common sense, but I have seen it happen.  So my last tips is  don’t carry contraband with you to court. 

 Massachusetts Probate and Family Court tips

http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt/beforegoing.html

 Minnesota State Court tips

http://www.mncourts.gov/selfhelp/?page=1616

 Traffic Court tips

http://www.trafficticketsecrets.com/traffic-court-tips.html

 Delaware State Court tips

http://courts.delaware.gov/How%20To/Court%20proceedings/?ccp_goingtocourt.htm

 Illinois Legal Aid Video

http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=2151

 Hawaii State Court tips

http://www.courts.state.hi.us/page_server/SelfHelp/TipsOnGoingToCourt/5C475B8C1A32638F15195D2D7.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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